Council Engagement Leads To South Korean Imports of U.S. Sorghum

Trade tensions in 2018 between the United States and China disrupted U.S. sorghum sales. The Council worked closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to identify rapid response funds that would allow the sorghum sector to aggressively market the displaced sorghum to alternative markets around the world.

This work included immediate action in South Korea to provide members of the feed industry there with timely information on the nutritional characteristics and feed efficiency of U.S. sorghum. Over the past decade, the South Korean feed industry has bought about 10 million metric tons of corn annually but has not imported sorghum. The Korean food industry has imported about 1,000 tons of sorghum annually as a rice extender.

Because of this work, a feed grain buying group made their first import of U.S. sorghum in more than a decade. All told, South Korea imported 59,400 tons of U.S. sorghum rejected from China due to retaliatory tariffs, valued at $9.9 million.

The Council invested $90,000 of Market Access Program (MAP) funds to build relationships with member of the Korean feed industry and provide updated market information on U.S. sorghum, creating a sale of U.S. sorghum valued at $9.9 million, for a return on investment (ROI) of $110 for every $1 of MAP invested.